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TAMPA, Fla. (AP) -- Two conservative Christian groups are warning of growing hostility to religious expression in the United States.
A report by Liberty Institute and the Family Research Council lists hundreds of instances in recent years, including lawsuits filed by atheist groups and administrative actions by government officials.
Liberty Institute President Kelly Shackelford says Democrats as well as Republicans will be urged to make protection of Americans' religious rights a part of their party platforms this election year. He predicts that if the parties fail to do so, voters will "make them pay."
At issue are applications of the First Amendment's clauses banning establishment of religion while protecting its free exercise.
Shackelford says growing hostility toward religious expression can lead to violence like last week's shooting at the Washington headquarters of the Family Research Council that left an unarmed guard wounded.
(Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)